(4az) Heath Himstedt: Meet the Candidate | AIChE

(4az) Heath Himstedt: Meet the Candidate


Himstedt, H. - Presenter, University of Minnesota

I am seeking positions in chemical, environmental, and/or civil engineering.

My primary research interest is designing enhanced separations for sustainable engineering.  One research focus will be enhanced filtration and chromatography using responsive polymers.  Stimuli-responsive polymers can be incorporated into or onto supports—such as membranes or zeolites.  This technique could be used for anti-fouling membranes of contaminated water or enhanced chromatographic purification of pharmaceuticals.  A second research focus will be engineered surfaces for rapid, flow-through reactors.  By incorporating reactive species into polymer chains grafted on a membrane support, a high surface area to volume ratio reactor could be achieved.  Since mass transfer through this reactor would be via convection, diffusion limitations could be eliminated.  A third research focus will be enhanced separation on a small scale for distributed chemical manufacture.  By engineering combined production/separation systems on a small scale, production of certain chemicals could be performed at the point of use.  An exciting application of this idea is a wind or solar powered combined reactor/separator for production of ammonia fertilizers in developing nations, which lack infrastructure for rapid chemical distribution.

I am passionate about engineering education.  As a Ph.D. student, I took the initiative to serve as the instructor of record for four university courses.  I am prepared to teach numerous undergraduate courses, particularly separations and reactor/process design.  I also envision teaching a number of specialty graduate courses such as membrane separations, polymerization, and sustainable technologies, among others.  I excel at multi-disciplinary collaboration, and I will seek out collaborations with associated departments and research centers, such as centers for sustainability, water research, or environmental stewardship.  I also plan to collaborate with the department of education to develop courses on more effective engineering education.